Osborne dashes fuel duty hopes

Motorists will have to find even more money to fill up their tanks after the Budget failed to deliver any change in government policy towards the cost of fuel.

Drivers had been hoping that Chancellor George Osborne would postpone August's fuel duty rise in the Budget.

But he said there would be no change to existing fuel duty plans.

He added that vehicle excise duty (VED) would rise by the rate of inflation, although it would be frozen for hauliers.

Road users are already forking out for record petrol and diesel prices and the announcement from Mr Osborne was greeted with dismay by motoring groups.

Petrol now averages 139.67p a litre, with diesel at 146.39p a litre. The August rise, including VAT, will put another 3.62p a litre on prices at the pumps, meaning that a typical 50-litre petrol refill will cost £1.81 more.

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "The Chancellor's decision to go ahead with the summer rise in fuel duty is as unsurprising as it will be disappointing to 34 million drivers, especially when the Chancellor acknowledges there is likely to be a further spike in oil prices.

"George Osborne said that taxes should be fair, simple, predictable and support work. Motoring tax fails on at least three of these measures and it is time for a review of exactly what fuel duty is for and who it impacts most."

Copyright Press Association 2012